The Caro Quintero Factor in Sonora

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By Buggs for Borderland Beat

Rafael Caro Quintero
The deep seeded roots of influence of the Caro Quintero in Sonora demonstrate how powerful the surnames can be in a territory marked by drug trafficking. Today we will not write about Rafael Caro Quintero and his extensive history within drug trafficking in the Sonoran region, but we will talk about some characters that drive a new movement that maintains confrontations in the state of Sonora.
We are talking about relatives of Rafael, characters who grew up in the mafia environment and today maintain the hierarchical inheritance of the illegal operations that once made this family grow. We are talking about the powerful promoters and operators that maintain the war for Sonora against the Sinaloa cartel, especially with the children of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera “Los Chapitos” and his army of La Gente Nueva.
Their confrontations in the south and north of the state are their main objectives in the border with the United States. The wave of violence in cities such as Cajeme, Guaymas, Empalme, Hermosillo, Caborca and other municipalities are part of this war waged by the factions of both organizations.
“El Cadete”
The leaders of the advances for the control of Sonora by the Caro Quintero clan are Jose Gil Caro Quintero “El Jogil, El Pelochino or “El Chino” and Juan Pablo Quintero Navidad. Jose is the son of Eulogia Quintero Payan and cousin of Rafael Caro Quintero while Juan Pablo is the son of the famous Emilio Quintero Payan and brother of Emilio Sajid Quintero “El Cadete” who is also cousin of Rafael. Both control the territory in Sonora and parts of Chihuahua and are the ferrous competitors of the Salazar family of the Sinaloa cartel in both regions.
They are high-ranking operators and operate in low profile. Of Jose Gil Caro Quintero, it is known that on January 8, 2016 he was released from the Puente Grande Prison in Jalisco after serving a sentence for organized crime, and he is also suspected of forging an alliance with Damaso Lopez “El Licensiado” to plan the elimination of Los Chapitos that belong to the upper structure of the Sinaloa cartel. They were responsible for the abduction of both sons of El Chapo Guzman in Puerto Vallarta. Of Juan Pablo Quintero Navidad very little is known other than his kinship and that he is key figure of the organization after the arrest of his brother ” El Cadete.”
Caro Quintero clan in Sonora
This is why it is very probable that Rafael Caro Quintero may still be very still active and in command of family operations, although, others argue that he lives in hiding, threatened by governmental operations of Mexico and the US, who seek his recapture after a federal judge in mexico ordered his prompt release.
What is clear is that the Caro Quintero family maintains a hegemony over time within drug trafficking after an extended active life in the Mexican mafia environment.
Jose and Juan Pablo support the groups of Alfredo Olivas Valenzuela “El Chapo Olivas” or “El Alfa” in Ciudad Obregon and Rodrigo Paez Quintero “El R” in Caborca. They have also formed alliances in Chihuahua with factions of the Juarez cartel and its armed wing “La Linea.” They are rumored to have strategic points of collaboration with cells of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG). This might increase after the arrest of El Marro, allowing CJNG to take full control of the Guanajuato region while looking to expand north.
Independent Groups:
  • In Obregon with the group of los Chapos Trinis or Los Alfas who was led at one time by Trinidad Olivas Valenzuela “El Chapo Trini,” was executed in 2017 in Zapopan, Jalisco and Emilio Sajid Quintero Navidad “El Cadete” formerly Leader of the group who was arrested in 2017 while crossing the border. Organization is said to be led by brother of Trinidad Alfredo Olivas Valenzuela “El Chapo Olivas” who are both relatives of the singer Alfredo Olivas. Another relative in this case is Irvin Olivas “El Nomo” are part of the command structure. Miguel Enrique Aragon Camacho “El Telcel” is Operator and Head of sicarios for the organization. Others are Francisco Javier Duarte “El Antena” Operator for the organization in Bacum and the Yaqui valley, Alejo Olivas Valenzuela “El Miky,” Bencel Aragon Camacho “El Tio,” Alejandro Perez Ozuna “El Jarocho,” Benjamin Quiñones “El Tigre,” Mateo Quinones “El Pulpo” are some of the main operators and leaders for the organization. The group was born out of the famous freedom colonization of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora and have been suspected in executions and disappearances in the region of Ciudad Obregon.
  • In Guaymas and Empalme a group calling themselves “La Plaza” who are led by Francisco Javier Espinoza Camacho “El Fino” or “El Picipi” who remains operational leader of the group. Others are Jesús Hernández Esquivel “El Oliver” who is plaza boss of Empalme, Juan Carlos Real Nieblas alias ” El Mocho” who is also in charge of operations in sectors of Guaymas. This group is said to be responsible for executions and disappearances in the area of Guaymas and Empalme, as well as high profile murders in the coastal zone.
  • In Caborca the group of the Paez family or the so-called “Caborca Cartel” and its armed wing “La Barredora 24/7,” that is led by those close to the Quintero family who include Jose Rodrigo Paez Quintero “El R” and Oscar Pascual de la Rocha “El Chapon” or “El Chapo de la Rocha,” both being regional leaders of the organization. Jesus Dario Murrieta Navarro “El Cara de Cochi” is boss of sicarios for the organization in La Perla del Desierto. 
These are just some of the members who make up these group. 
There is talk of alliances in the Chihuahua region with cells from the Juarez cartel and its armed wing La Linea, especially in areas that are not in the control of the Salazar family of the Sinaloa cartel. With the group of the Bournes brothers who are said to be allied to La Linea and perhaps some cells of the CJNG in Jalisco and Veracruz.
Between both, Jose Gil Caro Quintero “El Jogil” and Juan Pablo Quintero Navidad are the major operators of these groups in the Sonoran region and form a part of the mountain region of chihuahua that maintains a fight for the control of drug trafficking against the Salazar family of Don Adan, Alfredo and Crispin Salazar, leaders of the group in the region.
Their confrontations and executions have planted seeds of terror among the population. For example, both have attacked and conducted extensive executions against the municipal authorities in Guaymas, where the organization of the Salazars have executed police personnel who maintain a collusion with the adversarial groups, in the same way, “La Plaza” responds similarly.
Executions come and go, the wave of violence has reached record numbers of murders in the state, surpassing the numbers of the war of the Beltran Leyva against the Sinaloa cartel after their breakup.
El Mayo, Los Caro Quintero vs Los Chapitos
These characters with powerful surnames in the criminal sphere make us think of a new criminal structure within the state of Sonora, the intense war with the sons of Joaquin Guzman (Chapitos). The war between both groups for control of Sonora state and the low-profile participation of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia make for a new criminal battle ground in Sonora.


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